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Chenoweth Promises To Fight Tribal Lottery

U.S. Rep. Helen Chenoweth, R-Idaho, said Tuesday she will continue to support the legislation aimed at blocking the Coeur d’Alene Tribe’s proposed National Indian Lottery, despite the tribe’s offer to share some of its lottery revenue with the states.

“This is not an economic issue,” Chenoweth said. “This is an issue of a state’s right to control gambling within its own borders.”

The proposed legislation, introduced in amended form Tuesday by Reps. Jerry Solomon, R-N.Y., and Robert Torricelli, D-N.J., would place a two-year moratorium on all new Indian gaming. It also would subject the Coeur d’Alene tribe’s proposed national telephone lottery to the approval of each state.

The tribe plans to offer its lottery only in states that already have lotteries. Faced with opposition from states concerned that their own state lotteries will suffer from the competition, the tribe has offered to share 10 percent of the gross proceeds with all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and another 5 percent with non-gaming tribes.

Torricelli said his legislation is intended to “tip the scales in favor of the states.”

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